Politics & Government

Beyond pink hats, Bellingham woman in D.C. to share values, march

Pink hats were the preferred headgear for the hundreds of thousands of women at Saturday’s Women’s March.

But to Kelly Krieger of Bellingham, the one on her head was particularly special.

“This is just the last one I made,” she said. “I was knitting up to the last minute and passing them out on the plane and in the airport and then this is just what was left.”

Krieger, with help from women in Seattle and Bellingham, supervised the creation of around 400 of the “pussy hats” that became a symbol of the march, part of a national project.

It’s a reference to a video released by the Washington Post in October, in which then-candidate Donald Trump boasted years ago that he could “do anything” to women, even “grab them by the pussy.”

Krieger joined a crowd estimated at 500,000, about double the number of people who showed up for Trump’s inauguration Friday.

Krieger’s 24-year-old daughter, Emily, who lives in Seattle, joined her mom on the five-hour plane trip to Washington.

“I think a big part of what makes this important for me to be here is that I do get to be here with my mom,” she said. “And it’s really important to me that we share those values, and I’m able to engage with something that’s in line with my female identity and just be surrounded by a bunch of amazing women and people who support women’s rights and people who support equal rights for everyone.”

Both of Washington state’s Democratic senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, attended women’s marches on Saturday, though in different cities.

Murray, who participated in the march in Washington, D.C., said it was important to show Trump “that America is diverse.”

Murray, who first ran for the Senate in 1992 as “a mom in tennis shoes,” laced up her tennis shoes for the march and posted a photo of them on her Facebook page.

“There are a lot of us who want this new administration to know that the divisive hateful language that attacked so many people throughout the campaign is us, and we are here,” Murray said in an interview Saturday. “It’s our country, too, and we’re fighting.”

As one of the Senate’s top liberals and its top-ranked woman on the Democratic leadership team, Murray said it was “very difficult” to attend Trump’s inauguration Friday. But she said it was important to do so.

“You know, it was very difficult to watch this transition when we have fought so hard to move the country forward and to listen to Trump talk about our country in a very different way than I feel about it,” Murray said. “But I also recognize that the most important thing about yesterday was that we do have a peaceful transfer of power. ... What goes around comes around and when Democrats win again we want to make sure that we are there for everybody, and I felt that it was important that he see that there’s a lot of us there who make up this country.”

Cantwell flew home from Washington, D.C., on Friday night to participate in the march in Seattle.

She said the large turnout for the marches will send a message to the Trump administration that “we stand together in numbers too great to ignore.”

“We reject the violent words and actions we have witnessed against women, immigrants, people of color and marginalized communities,” Cantwell said in a statement. “We will fight, and not stop until women’s rights, human rights, equality and justice are achieved.”

Yu-Ning Aileen Chuang and Nia Prater write for the Medill News Service.

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